Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Two and a Half Questions with Brian McBride

How did you come in contact with the makers of the Vanishing of the Bees (George Langworthy and Maryam Henein)?
Maryam Henein & George Langworthy asked me to. George and I had crossed paths before in Austin during the early 90s. We both worked at the same radio station.

How do you feel your music fits in with the tone of the movie?
While writing and recording, I tried to adhere to two guiding principles: I knew that I wanted the music to convey a sense of fragility given the subject matter. And I also purposely tried to not overwhelm the film, wanting to provide them something that emphasized their ideas more so than creating some type of music video. George and Maryam asked me to concentrate on four different themes. Some themes I was better at than others. The ‘gloriousness of the bees’ was a tough one for me. Communicating beauty can’t really be forced. You don’t want it to become merely ornamental or trite. But the main concern was for the music to serve as a reminder as to how fragile this ecosystem is. We all need reminders how fragile the world is around us from time to time.

On this album you appear to work with themes that follow each other up a bit quicker. Talk a little about this shift in style and the transitions.
The main difference between this record and my previous work revolves around the tension between making a record and making music for a film. The two are not the same thing. Non-soundtrack work for me takes each side of a record as it’s own larger piece of music. There may be multiple pieces on each side of a record but inevitably, the roughly twenty minutes you have to work with often ends up informing the structure and flow of the music. Scoring a film is about conveying an idea within say three to five minutes or quite often, even less. It’s more about providing a change to facilitate transitions or mark moments with some significance. After scoring is done, turning it into a record feels a little bit like forcing your work into some sort of artificial collage. So when I listen to this record it seems way busier than what I’m used to primarily because of the demands of the film. Moods have a tendency to fluctuate a bit more than they would on a Lid record or even my previous record.

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Read the entire interview on Headphone Commute

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Interview by Caspar Menkman for Headphone Commute.

Read Headphone Commute's review of The Effective Disconnect

kranky.net/artists/mcbride | brainwashed.com/sotl

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